Jul 12, 2023


I want to support associates with my "supporter's spirit".

Rewarding work as public relations.

Ryo Kijima, who joined DENSO as a new graduate in 2019, has been engaged in public relations work in the Public Relations Division ever since he joined the company. Kijima says, “I find it rewarding to see associates happy” while working for the company.” This is because he was able to realize “the fun of supporting a team" through his club activities at university. We take a closer look at the path that has shaped him and his views on work.

Contents of this article

    Transition from a player to a trainer. In his college days, he discovered the fun of supporting an organization.

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    “I want the associates to be happy through the dispatch of information by public relations and it will make them more positive about their career.”

    The reason why he came to think that he wanted to support people in the same organization in this way was strongly influenced by his experience in the lacrosse club when he was a university student.

    When I entered university, I decided to join the lacrosse club, which I had never played before.

    In fact, I had never seen lacrosse before, and of course I knew nothing about the rules, neither. However, when I observed the team, I strongly felt the attitude and enthusiasm of the seniors, who were "serious about winning", and I thought I really wanted to take on the challenge.

    I enjoyed playing lacrosse very much and practiced hard with my friends while having friendly competition, but in the fall of my second year, I reached a turning point. I got seriously injured during practice and couldn’t remain a player. I thought about quitting the club at the time, but the teammates I had trained with and shared the same goals had already been irreplaceable.

    “Even if I can't play as a player, I want to contribute to the team in some other way by helping them achieve the goal.”

    I had made up my mind to support my teammates as a trainer with this hope when half a year had passed since I started rehabilitation. However, the team did not have a trainer position at the time, so I volunteered to the coach to create it.

    I thought the appropriate training for the teammates, and I learned the appropriate support for injured player directly from the osteopathic doctor who was in charge of my rehabilitation when I was injured. In addition to that, I obtained certification as a lacrosse referee. Through my experience as a referee, I am now able to give advice to the players from a bird’s-eye view.

    “Although it is indirect way, I am contributing to the team.”

    I found my role very rewarding by realizing as above, and I also found it interesting to support the team.

    Looking for a job where I can leverage my supporter's temperament.

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    My experience as a trainer in the lacrosse team gave me a clue of how I would want to work in the place of my employment.

    Translating the role of a trainer in a team into a company, I would say that it is the corporate division that enhances the motivation and health of the associates. When I looked at each company from this perspective, I realized that many companies that cherish their employees are committed to "health management”. I thought that such a company is suitable for me to work.

    In such a situation, I came across DENSO Corporation, which is actively pursuing health management. At the time, DENSO had been certified as a "Health and Productivity" and a "White 500" (Health and Productivity Management Organization) for three consecutive years.

    I found it very interesting and attended its recruitment information session. I was surprised to know that the company was expanding its business around the world, not only in automotive components field, but also in fields such as connecting cities and vehicles through communications and has high technological capabilities that can contribute to society widely.

    “I want to be a supporter of associates at a company that makes a significant contribution to society.”

    Before joining the company, I had a strong vision for my own career direction. Of course, company functions such as sales divisions will also be considered as supporters in the sense that they contribute to customers. However, I still wanted to work in the Corporate Division because, through my experience as a trainer, I had noticed that I was motivated by closely seeing the people I supported being delighted by the work I was doing.

    For me, it is more rewarding to be able to think "I would like to work for the sake of these people" seeing their faces. This motivation helps me carry on working for these people, and I believe that continuing to do so will help us achieve our goals as a group, which finally turn will improve our customer’s businesses and society.

    Challenge to the Public Relations tasks. Bringing associates happiness through dispatch of information.

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    After joining DENSO, I was assigned to the Public Relations Division as I initially hoped, which is a corporate function that supports the entire company, and at first, I was in charge of external public relations tasks.

    My role was to let the press know DENSO's activities in order to widely offer them to the society. It was important in my role not to one-sidedly convey what DENSO wanted to convey, but to try to convey information that would be of interest to the press.

    For example, when I tried to boost the recognition of DENSO’s agriculture business in the agricultural industry through trials and errors with the division in charge, we not only convey one-sidedly what we wanted to let the press know, but also started by visiting agricultural exhibitions to get to know the press who are interested in agriculture. Then we tried to offer the information about our agricultural business more proactively to the press we met at exhibitions.

    As a result, our media exposure gradually increased and it helped me build relationships with associates in the related divisions, who would say that “if there are any problems, we will at first consult with Kijima on them.”

    Such experiences made me realize that it is rewarding and interesting to be able to make associates happy through widely offering information to the society.

    On the other hand, as I felt the pleasure of making associates happy through the external dispatch of information, I began to think that I would like to be involved in internal public relations, where I can directly offer information to associates. Perhaps sensing my wish, in May 2022, I was reassigned to internal public relations within the same Public Relations Division where I was in charge of offering information to associates, particularly creating articles to be posted on the website for offering internal information to associates.

    It is required for the internal information website for associates to aggregate the information associates would like to know at this very moment and to create articles about it.

    For example, DENSO's electric aircraft business is one of the non-automotive businesses that associates are very interested in. In anticipation of such interest, I posted an article on why DENSO is involved in the electric aircraft business and the difficulties of product development in the aviation industry.

    Because DENSO is involved in a wide range of products, not only in the mobility field but also in others, and its business scope is broad and deep, it is difficult for its associates to see what other divisions are working on. That is why I actively offer information through the internal information website for associates so that the 170,000 global associates can work with the same goals and motivation, and that they can raise their motivation by learning about the efforts of other divisions.

    In addition, I’m making new attempts to have the associate read the website, such as delivering newsletters and creating interesting movies the associates can’t help but watch.

    I’m motivated the most by seeing my associates happy with my efforts above.

    It makes me happy to see the associates who cooperated in the interviews looking forward to the release of the contents. Above all, I get motivated to work on my tasks by receiving comments through our content such as “I was impressed.”, “I thought I would try to change my behavior.”, “I have come to like the company more.”, and “I have not known that other divisions are taking on such things.”

    The career possibilities for supporters are unlimited.

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    Through internal and external public relations activities, I am learning the attitude I should value as a "supporter of associates.

    Public Relations Div. is in a position to ask for cooperation within the company. That is why it is necessary to value human relationships even more to engage in our work.

    I have learned from my senior colleagues that our associates within the company will help us when we need their help only after we, the Public Relations Div., offer them value to the fullest extent.

    I feel that it is rewarding to be engaged in the internal public relations work with the supporter’s spirit I have cultivated over the years in order to give our associates a sense of pride and accomplishment in their work, because I believe that raising the motivation of associates not only leads to corporate growth, but also contributes to society.

    Keeping this supporter’s spirit in mind, I would like to take on more and more new challenges not only in the public relations work, but also in other fields.


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